Students to build Asian ties with New Colombo Plan scholarships

December 14 / 150

Melbourne's New Colombo Plan 2015 Scholars (L-R): Matthew Wiseman, Indah Cox-Livingstone, University of Melbourne Strategy Advisor Colin Walters, Georgina Davie and NCP China Fellow Scott Gigantes.
Melbourne's New Colombo Plan 2015 Scholars (L-R): Matthew Wiseman, Indah Cox-Livingstone, University of Melbourne Strategy Advisor Colin Walters, Georgina Davie and NCP China Fellow Scott Gigantes.

Four students will head to China, Japan and Singapore to extend their studies as part of the New Colombo Plan (NCP) in 2015.

The NCP Scholarship Program provides opportunities for Australian undergraduates to undertake semester-based study and internships or mentorships in the Asia-Pacific region.

Scott Gigantes (Science) and Matthew Wiseman (Arts) will study at Fudan University in China, Indah Cox-Livingstone (Science) will study at the National University of Singapore and Georgina Davie (Arts) will study at Japan’s University of Kyoto.

As the top-ranked of 11 NCP scholars studying in China, Mr Gigantes was also named as the country’s NCP Fellow.

He said the scholarship would give him an opportunity to improve his Mandarin-language skills and build ties with China’s growing computer science industry.

“I envisage Australian businesses' relationships with their Chinese counterparts growing in number and in importance in the coming years, and the Australian government's generous New Colombo Plan provides an amazing opportunity to form these relationships with students from around the world who will become the business leaders of the future,” he said.

Mr Wiseman, who previously studied Mandarin at Fudan, will return to the university to complete his Chinese-language diploma.

He agreed Australia’s relationship with China would be hugely influential in coming decades.

“I’m learning Mandarin because I’d like to understand as much as I can about the country that will perhaps shape the world the most during my lifetime,” he said.

“I think as many people as possible should experience the diversity of cultures in our region so that we can be an informed and respectful nation, aware of both our privilege and obligations.”

Ms Davie said the cultural understanding the NCP scholarships aim to foster is a fundamental aspect of any Arts degree.

"I want to be a part of the development and change occurring in Asia, helping to harness the full potential that this diverse and complex region has to offer through my future life and career path,” she said.

Study Abroad Program Manager Rachel Wellam said mobility is fundamental to the Melbourne experience and central to encouraging global citizenship.

“Whilst the development of students intellectual abilities is foremost, the development of intercultural understanding is significant and desired,” she said.

“International education promotes transformative learning, which in turn brings about a shift of consciousness that can dramatically alter an individual’s way of being and seeing in the world.”

December also saw the announcement of the 2015 Endeavour Scholarships, an internationally competitive program for Australian students to undertake study, research and professional development overseas.  Angeline Ferdinand and Zid Mancenido from the University were among 32 students to be awarded, both receiving prestigious Postgraduate Scholarships to study at the University of Chile and the Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) respectively.

In turn, the University will host nearly 40 international students on inbound Endeavour scholarships in 2015.

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